Tuesday 19 July 1983

'Whatever happened to The MFA?': Electronica&Roll

From Electronic&Roll July 19th 2013

The creators of The Difference It Makes.

A week ago I got a vinyl that I couldn't buy at the time and I started clapping my ears. Quite a hymn for a clubber and one of the best works released in those first Border Community days that gave another dimension to what was known as progressive-house. The record is that classic called The Difference It Makes created by a British formation made up of Alastair Douglas and Rhys Evans who called themselves The Mother-Fucking Allstars, but since the name was very rude they were popularly known as The MFA.

Precisely in that third release of Holden's label there was a remix of another that we didn't know anything about until recently. Because yes friends, the Swedish Petter is still active directing the Studio Barnhus label together with Axel Boman and Kornél Kovács (equal or even more special than Border Community). But let's focus on Alastair and Rhys. With this first track released by a fledgling label in 2004 they made a full-fledged Vini Vidi Vinci. Singing success. Their secret: a melody with which to escape from everything and heavenly voices. Pure epic progression that became a fetish record for great dj's of the time, especially for those close to Kompakt, since even Superpitcher came to remix it.

In that same year, 2004, they published two more E.P's. One in Precinct (a sub-label of Hooj Choons that stopped publishing music in 2008) where they produced two songs, Motherload, which continued to explore the path started with their first record, and Sphinx developing its more acidic vein. The other E.P was published on the Australian label EQ [Grey] with Two Billion Year Journey giving a dark touch to his particular way of understanding music.

A year later Ellen Allien, ready herself, recruited them for Bpitch Control where they published a work with three original tracks daring with everything. From the break, to the big-beat sound with a trance varnish and, of course, techno-melodic. Possibly the most complete E.P of their career and one that perfectly sums up the sound that the Welsh and English tried to develop.

They did not publish anything again until four years later, but they had time to perform at Primavera Sound, Sónar, BBK and Creamfields-Andalucía, all in 2006. In addition to that, they toured half of Europe with gigs in large cities. They opened their own blog where they reported firsthand on their adventures.
In 2009 they went back to the beginning of it all, to Border Community. With Throw It Back (We Will Destroy You) the progressive-house and epic sounds had already received the last unction, so they reinvented themselves by embracing synth pop and techno in a cross between Pet Shop Boys and Underworld. The experiment did not go very far and suddenly they disappeared from the scene. As they came they left. They took advantage of the shine of their star for four years and then dedicated themselves to new professional pursuits.

In 2012 Nathan Fake was asked at Inverted-Audio if he knew anything about them and if there was any possibility of new material from The MFA. The answer was forceful: they would not get together again to produce music. Rhys started working in F-1 and that made it incompatible for him to continue with his artistic side while Alastair had a job in London but without clarifying if he continued making music, which gives the impression that he was not.

And so we find a formation that was very successful at a specific moment and then fell into oblivion. What is the conclusion? That even if you succeed in music, especially electronic music, find yourself an alternative professional outlet, just in case. And if it is in F-1, even better.

Originally published here in Spanish

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